hey ranchers :
this OCPJP starts to piss me off ... i mean .. i'm good at logic but API memorization ??? come on !!! we deserve better
i read to the K&B book and i understood every word of it ..(i had to go through generics 2 times though) but whene i started the take the mocks .. it's just demotivating to see that's 50 % is API-related questions !!
i made a big mistake : the first time i heard about the SCJP is from a company that came to my school Offering a double retake voucher promotion .. so i went looking for the objectives of the exam and it seemed easy at that time .. so i bought the voucher fast before starting to prepare .. and here i'm now with a voucher that will expire 31 jan 2011
and i think i need more time ...
i took the Diagnostic exam from exam lab = 31%
then the certpal exam 56 %
please tell where i'm standing now because this scores are frustrating me right now
whene i look at my errors it's all about API (well + a little of misconcentrating )
i know that exam lab are hard .. (whene i was passing it i hated Devaka Cooray so much ) but i dont know what is the level of certpal compared to the real exam !!?
should i start the master exams or not yet ??
please tell me what to do i'm confused !
i am also preparing for scjp.
and as you are saying the same problem i am also facing but as i think there may be API related questions from IO,parsing,Formatting and may be collections. Wrapper classes also.
so what i did is i just wrote down some important constructors and important methods(including the exceptions that can be thrown by them) from classes related to this and whenever i test the code i always keep this notes with me so that i can get quick revision of the methods..
It will hardly take 1 full day to write down important methods and memorize them. just try it.
SCJP is very promising indeed. Yes the preparation can be frustrating at times though but remember that
you are giving exam for concepts not for cramming. Take it slow, experiment with Logic and write a lot of
code and i am sure it will eventually improve. Remember this thing, that don't run for ExamLab in the initials.
Keep it as a last round for you. First go through Enthuware, its remarkable. It will prepare you with concepts
and then ExamLab 'The Big Thing'. Just remember that, ExamLab is like a war, and you cannot really win a big
war with defected weapons and that is weak concepts
Don't give up yet. I passed my OCP today (88%). I started out with just 35% on the examlabs just a few days ago. They are way more difficult than the real exam but well worth doing. The real exam covered all the same topics but in general the questions that included code were a lot shorter and therefore easier to visualize. The examlabs exams were taking me just over 3 hours but the real one was about 2:15 including about 30 minutes going over all the answers a second time. The real exam didn't contain any questions regarding wait(), notify() or notifyAll() which is used a lot in examlabs. With all that said I don't think I would have done nearly as well had I not used examlabs.
Thanks. I'm really pleased with it. I don't have the PC to hand to check the result but I tried each exam and started in the 30s and got up to 78% on the final exam. After each one I just went over and over all the bits I got wrong. Some of them were just plan stupid errors due to not checking simple things such as variable scope etc. The list you've made is exactly what I was was studying. The ones I got wrong the most were generics when the question mark was involved. I found the K&B book didn't explain them enough for me to understand but a few test programs helped loads. Above all, take your time and make sure you read the questions properly. So many times I was caught out by assuming it was checking my knowledge of one topic but it was a simple syntax error elsewhere.
Well I don't think its supposed to be too easy. However, I'd like to share my experience in the hope that it may add to the wealth of advice already available here.
I am more in the belief that some time submerged in Java in some applied capacity will facilitate a better understanding of Java, its practical application and hence a better approach to the exam. Let me expand;
A few years back I was completely self taught in Java, from books , the Internet and writing copious amounts of code in practice. I took the SCJA after about 9 months and scored high, which gave me a boost and encouraged me to go for the SCJP. I continued to revise for about 3 months and then tried to sit it but scored just below the pass mark, despite scoring OK in all the labs and such like. Not being one to be discouraged I hit the books again, and was fortunate enough to then land a job based on my SCJA and self taught skills. Two years later, I am now a senior programmer of sorts and I am aiming to take the new SCJP exam next year. From my experience of writing and being involved in using Java for real applied programs, from small apps to Enterprise services, my perspective and understanding has increased hugely. I feel far more confident in taking the exam, and my knowledge is not just theory based on books and reading.
Now I know, there are many people who have and can pass the exam based on the books alone, but for those of us who are not in that mould, I recommend taking a step back and prioritize your learning, if there is any possibility you can get practical experience in java before you take your SCJP then do it, even if its an open source project contribution you will benefit so much, you will not just get many of those "aaah I see how it works now" moments but you will get the bigger picture as well as subconsciously getting a lot of the dreaded API firmly impressed on your brain. I couldn't grasp the collections framework at all before my job. Since my employment we use it all the time, and now its second nature to me, even generics are coming easier!
It's far harder to try and get it the first or second time round from just reading a book, even writing examples, but if you need to use it and are involved in creating whole finished applications then it starts to become clearer. Of course there will be people who may need SCJP to get that job position or experience, but its not a prerequisite for all jobs, and there is an increasing amount of need for voluntary contributions to open source projects on the web. If it is at all possible to get that practical experience do it, and then such things as API memorization are not such an issue. Of course, its impossible to get experience that covers everything, so its not a replacement for reading and test code writing, but it does compliment it tremendously.
Just ask yourself, why you want your SCJP so quickly, is it necessary to go for it straight from the book, are you learning or just memorizing? If your only memorizing, the exam must have not much value to you in the future. Yes it looks good to a prospective employer, but even better than that is the ability to understand, and utilize what you have learn't from the exam. I f you have just memorized lines in a book, then you may well get into a bit of a stick if you ever have to use that knowledge, even if you get in the high percentile this can mean nothing in the long run unless you can show you understand and can use that knowledge.
My personal mantra in regards to learning anything, I liken to learning a new language; "its one thing to learn to speak a new language, but to then think in that language is a different thing". Thus its one thing to learn Java, its rules and principles, but its another thing to know how to apply them and use them in reality. I wish all potential SCJP candidates all the best in their exams, keep using JavaRanch its by far the best forum on the net for Java, and for reading certainly Sierra & Bates has to be the first in your library, code code code, butif you can get involved somehow, do!!!
I hope this small precis can be of help. Of course its not the same for everyone, but for me it has helped my development into Java immensely considering my academic background is in Environmental law (PhD level).
be a well encapsulated person, don't expose your privates, unless you public void getWife()!